CalChamber Policy Advocates Beat the Odds

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You had a better chance of hitting 00 on the roulette wheel than killing a bill in the first house of the Legislature this month.

Yet CalChamber helped stop five bills on the Assembly floor. Talk about beating the odds!

Lobbyist Chris Micheli reported that of the 450 bills to hit the Assembly floor, just 11 fell short of moving to the Senate. The odds were similar on the other side of the Capitol. As reported by Micheli, of the 280 bills considered by senators, just five didn’t move on to the Assembly.

Convincing senators or Assembly members to turn down a bill by colleagues in the same house is historically a difficult ask. With near supermajority dominance by Democrats in both houses, the majority members are even more disciplined to pass bills.

But CalChamber lobbyists helped to buck the trend.

Five bills opposed by CalChamber, including one job killer, languished on the Assembly floor at the June 1 deadline (see June 8 Alert). These bills included:

AB 2613 (Reyes; D-Grand Terrace), a job killer, adds and increases penalties for Labor Code violations.

AB 2779 (M. Stone; D-Scotts Valley) prohibits selling plastic beverage containers with untethered caps.

AB 2379 (Bloom; D-Santa Monica) creates a meaningless label and lots of liability for garments with microfibers.

AB 2995 (Carrillo; D-Los Angeles) creates a new scheme of product liability for alleged harms that a firm may not have caused.

AB 2074 (Bonta; D-Oakland) creates retroactive liability for alleged harms that a firm may not have caused.

To be sure, these successes did not stem the overall tide of bad-for-business bills. After all, another five job killers and dozens of other troublesome bills were sent from one house to the other.

But it is worth noting that halfway through the legislative year, CalChamber lobbyists have helped to chalk up impressive wins that will pay off better than a spin of the roulette wheel.

This article by Loren Kaye, president of the California Foundation for Commerce and Education, a think tank affiliated with the California Chamber of Commerce, was posted this week on the CalChamber Capitol Insider blog.

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Loren Kaye
About Loren Kaye
Loren Kaye was appointed president of the California Foundation for Commerce and Education in January 2006. He has devoted his career to developing, analyzing and implementing public policy issues in California, with a special emphasis on improving the state's business and economic climate. He also was a gubernatorial appointee to the state's Little Hoover Commission, charged with evaluating the efficiency and effectiveness of state agencies and programs. Kaye served in senior policy positions for Governors Pete Wilson and George Deukmejian, including Cabinet Secretary to the Governor and Undersecretary of the California Trade and Commerce Agency.